The safety document is a written description by the service provider on how the safety of the service has been ensured. The safety document describes the risks related to the service and the measures to manage the risks and prepare for emergencies.
The safety document collects the safety issues related to the service together and helps the service provider to improve safety continuously. A safety document is first and foremost the service provider’s own tool – not a document written for the authorities. The safety document only needs to be delivered to Tukes if Tukes specifically requests for it.
Which services need a safety document?
A safety document must be drawn up for consumer services that may pose more than a minor risk to the safety of the participants or other people. For example, a safety document must be drawn up for the following services:
- amusement parks, family parks, zoos, petting zoos, funfairs and circuses
- ski resorts and other types of ski slopes
- outdoor and indoor playgrounds
- skateboarding areas and similar biking areas
- adventure, experience and nature services and other comparable programme services, unless the related risk can be considered minor
- climbing centres
- riding stables and other riding services
- karting tracks
- public swimming pools, outdoor swimming pools, spas and water parks
- beaches and winter outdoor swimming locations
- tattooing, piercing and other body modification services
- social alarm and care phone services and other equivalent services
- events that involve a significant hazard that, if realised, could pose a risk to someone’s safety due to the large number of participants in the service or other special reason
- programme services under the obligation to draw up a safety document.
You can find more detailed information about the service-specific obligation to draw up a safety document on the service-specific pages.
How to draw up a safety document
In the safety document, focus on describing specifically the implementation, risks and safety measures of the service in question. The contents of the safety document have been defined in the decree on safety documents (Government Decree on safety documents concerning certain consumer services 1110/2011).
The safety document does not need to be too long, as long as it describes the issues important for the safety of the service in question. An extensive, challenging or risky service needs a more detailed and comprehensive safety document than a simple service that is easy for the customers.
You can draw up one common safety document for several services of the same type. For example, playgrounds or beaches maintained by a municipality can be collected in a single safety document. One description is enough for the safety issues common to all services or sites in the document, as long as it is supplemented with the special characteristics of each site or service as needed. For example, certain risks such as falling off playground equipment or the condition of the playground surfacing are issues common to all playgrounds, but an individual playground may also have certain specific risks, such as a steep bluff or different kinds of playground equipment that must be taken into account separately in the safety document.
The common safety document must cover the risks of each site or service and the measures to prevent dangerous situations in sufficient detail.
If necessary, you can combine the safety document with other documentation on safety, such as the rescue plan, emergency plan or other similar safety plan. For example, a comprehensive rescue plan discusses many of the same issues as the safety document. However, you must ensure that the safety document fulfils the requirements set on it even when it has been combined with another safety plan.
The safety document may also consist of several different and separate files or attachments, meaning that it is not necessary to gather all information in the same file.
If necessary, you can draw up the safety document in cooperation with an outside expert. However, drawing up a safety document is an educational process, and therefore Tukes does not recommend assigning an outside expert to draw up the whole safety document. As far as possible, include the personnel participating in the implementation of the service in drawing up the safety document.
Keep the safety document up to date. You can use the following questions, for example, to help with updating the document:
- What kind of accidents, incidents or close calls have occurred during the last year?
- Are the accident records up to date?
- How has the safety situation changed during the year?
- How have the service, the places of performance, the equipment or the personnel changed?
- What kind of changes have occurred in the customer base or the operating environment?
- Is the information on risks up to date?
- What measures have been implemented during the year to remove hazards?
- Are the instructions, guides and warnings provided to the customers up to date?
- What are the most important measures to improve safety during the next year?
- Is the safety document as a whole up to date?
How to use the safety document
The safety document must be ready before the service begins.
The practical implementation of the service must match the description in the safety document. Make sure that the personnel are familiar with the contents of the safety document and can act accordingly. You can use the safety document for purposes such as the orientation of new employees and deputies, as material for safety training, in taking care of emergencies or problem situations, in cooperation with other service providers and authorities, tendering processes, as well as change and incident management.
Keep the safety document in a place where it is easily available to the personnel. Review the contents of the safety document with the personnel regularly, such as after the annual update. Always review the safety document during the orientation of a new person. For the competence of the personnel concerning safety, it is important to practice how to act in different kinds of emergencies.
If the service is implemented by several different service providers, the service provider with the main responsibility must make sure that the service as a whole is safe. For example, several different programme services can be offered at a public event. The party providing each service is responsible for the safety of their own service as well as drawing up a safety document. In addition to the individual programme services, a safety document must be drawn up on the whole event. The main event organiser must request safety documents from the programme service providers before the event; with these safety documents, the main event organiser can assess the overall safety of the event and take the necessary measures to improve safety.
Similarly, the person selling the service must ensure that the services they sell are safe. Requesting the safety document when drawing up the agreement on selling the service is a good method for this.
The safety document does not need to be available to the customers, and does not need to be published on the company’s website, for example. In addition, you should keep in mind that the safety document may contain material that should not be disclosed to outsiders, such as opportunities to misuse the service, or sites vulnerable to malicious damage.